Politics

‘Double Digits’ Number of Terror Threats Crossing Border Is ‘Small’ — Can’t Talk in Way that Endangers

On Tuesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Lead,” House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) stated that the amount of known and suspected terrorists crossing the southern border who are real terrorist threats “is actually pretty small. It’s in the double digits.” And that “Many” of those known and suspected terrorists are Colombians who “may have been associated with one of the revolutionary groups there, including groups that are no longer designated as terrorists.” And that while border security needs a lot of improvement, we shouldn’t talk about the border in ways that “raise the risk in immigrant communities and inside this country.”

Host Jake Tapper asked, “So, let me start with you, Ranking Member Himes, because I want to ask about the border. It’s such a politically fraught issue for any president, but the statistics we’re hearing are alarming. Is President Biden doing enough to address these specific concerns about terrorists entering the United States?”

Himes answered, “Well, Jake, the way I’d answer that is by saying that more needs to be done on the border. No country can have a border in which lots of people are coming across and we don’t know who they are. Now, look, I also feel very strongly that we talk about this rooted in truth. And the reality is that the quote — the number you just quoted, the number of KSTs (Known and Suspected Terrorists) coming across the southern border that represent a true terrorist threat is actually pretty small. It’s in the double digits. Many of those who’ve come across are actually Colombian nationals that may have been associated with one of the revolutionary groups there, including groups that are no longer designated as terrorists. So, yes, we need to do a much better job securing our border, but we also need to talk about the border and about immigration in ways that [don’t] raise the risk in immigrant communities and inside this country.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett



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